Norse Atlantic Airways (N0, Oslo Gardermoen) has opted against operating passenger services at Newburgh (New York Stewart) in the United States for the time being because the prerequisites are not yet in place for it to carry cargo, it has told local newspapers in the US.

The low-cost transatlantic start-up applied last year to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct services from Oslo Gardermoen to Newburgh, which lies about 100 kilometres north of Manhattan, as well as to Ontario International in the Los Angeles area.

In January, it was cleared to provide passenger services at US airports, including Newburgh. However, by May, it had switched to New York JFK, with its first commercial flight now scheduled to depart from Oslo bound for the primary New York City area hub on June 14, initially 2x weekly, then daily from July 4.

In a statement to the Mid Hudson News and later to the Westchester County Business Journal, Norse Atlantic said: “We are eager to commence operations to SWF [Newburgh] and intend to add it to our network as soon as it can handle the cargo we will bring to and from the United States. Cargo will be a significant part of our inbound revenues, consequently enabling us to offer affordable fares to our customers. We have ongoing discussions with SWF about future operations, and we are grateful for all the support.”

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, just two airlines currently operate scheduled passenger routes at Newburgh, Frontier Airlines (F9, Denver International) with 63% of the capacity and Allegiant Air (G4, Las Vegas Harry Reid), both of them operating only domestic routes from the airport.

Heather Bell-Meyer, president of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, where Newburgh is located, told the Mid Hudson News that she was disappointed with Norse Atlantic Airways’ change of plans.

“As one of the leaders of the Stewart Air Service Development Committee, this is disappointing, to say the least, considering that we are working tremendously hard as a coalition to improve the traffic in and out of Stewart and show the value of the airport and the surrounding area and all it has to offer both domestically and internationally. To say this is disappointing is an understatement,” she said.

Both Newburgh and JFK are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which markets Stewart as a convenient, uncongested airport and offers incentives for airlines to serve the Hudson Valley.